Featuring: Torstein Horgmo, Kareem El Rafie, Eiki Helgason, Gulli Gudmundson, Ståle Sandbech, Jonny Aaseth, Håkon Tønnesen, Halldor Helgason, Torgeir Berre, Torjus Thomassen, Mattias Nyberg, Håvard Hansgård, Jon Bjørkum, Andreas Gidlund, Daniel Ek and Hans Åhlund.
We catch up with Factor Films' Petter Foshaug to chat filming, what we can expect from their covermounted banger Up In The Sky (that’s exclusively available with Onboard 94 NOW) and the rise of the Icelanders.
Onboard: Ok. First up, props from the Onboard crew for Up in the Sky. We liked it man, some sick stuff in there and good feel to it too.
Petter Foshaug: Thanks..
OB: How does it feel to look back over a whole winter in the space of 35 or so minutes? Is it weird for you to see all those experiences condensed into such a small section of time?
PF: I’m happy with us getting the stuff we did in such a bad winter, I pretty much stayed in Norway all season because the snow conditions where waaay better up here then down in the Alps.
OB: Yeah. I think you did a pretty good job for that. So let's kinda start at the beginning. What’s your background?
PF: Erm, I don’t have any like film education or anything. I’m from Northern Norway but I got bored of that when I was supposed to start the last year of High School so I just moved to Oslo and hooked up with some rad guys and started filming fulltime kinda...
OB: So you just picked up a camera and figured it out for yourself then, and the same with the editing side of things I guess?
PF: Yep. I guess that’s how most people in the snowboard movie industry do it?!? I don’t think too many people go to any film schools before they make a snowboard movie, then they probably would rather make a Hollywood movie and make tons of money instead.
OB: I think Jaakko Itäaho studied some film school stuff, but yeah I think you're right.
PF: Yeah, and he went to Hollywood... kinda... [laughs].
OB: Yeah! What about the riders you shot with when you first picked up the camera? Any of the guys from your first filming efforts that you still shoot with today?
PF: Yeah, my friend that I started shooting with from up North is in Up in the Sky (Håvard Hansgaard)... I guess I started to film with one friend of mine, and then a couple of other friends, and their friends, and then I got a bit more serious when I started to check out riders to bring in. Like those 3 Icelanders who are the sickest dudes ever, I just saw their footage that they had filmed for themselves and decided to bring them in to the project.
OB: Hell yeah. I’ll ask you about those Icelanders in a bit coz they really got our eyes popping. So when did you start Factor Films. And is it just yourself or is there some other guys doing stuff too?
PF: Started like seriously 3 years ago, made some ‘friends’ movies before that, but then we got a little European distribution with a movie called Happy Day so I guess that’s when it started... It’s pretty much just me, but this year I had a Swedish filmer named Magnus Tornquist shooting a bunch of stuff too...
OB: Cool. Did you find it easy to get support from sponsors back then, or was it more difficult?
PF: I actually think it was easier before, now things are a bit more serious and with the bigger distribution we are expecting more from the sponsors too... I think Up in the Sky was made only with like 2000 Euro, because most of the sponsor money went on HD-equipment...
OB: I understand. What’s your view on all that HD cablecam, crazy angle stuff, because I've heard some people who are so into it and others that think that it is kinda over the top and doesn’t look like snowboarding any more…
PF: Well I have a yellow sticker note on my computer screen that says "buy an engine to the cabel-cam"... I guess that says a lot, [laughs]. But I think it’s cooler if people get artsy with out that kind of equipment, but I like cabelcams etc.
OB: Personally I like it all as long as stuff isn't overdone.
PF: True. I guess like in Mack Dawg the holy "feeling" of the movie got a bit "under" the use of cables, dollys etc... But it’s a sick movie for sure, but I like the People movie even more..
OB: Yeah. I was thinking that too. And like Think Thank last year blew me and everyone here away and I think it was filmed way more ghetto style
PF: True. I think it's kind of cool that Absinthe is filming like urban stuff with shitty cams and stuff, urban is ghetto - and it’s cool that it’s being filmed ghetto too.
OB: So, for those kids out there who haven't seen Up in the Sky yet, can you sum it up for them?
PF: Well, what kids can expect is a lot of sick riding, the riders are some of the best ones out there, even though most of them are pretty unknown. But for example Torstein Horgmo, – well, he’s SICK!.. And then you have Eiki Helgason and the Icelanders, well there’s a lot to say about them, but people should check out the movie and see for themselves instead of reading about their riding [laughs].
OB: Well said sir! Torstein, as you say, fricking kills it. How did you swing the heli for some of the shots in his part?
PF: We had a shot up in Stryn in June with a ski-crew named Field too, one crazy week with bluebird for 7 days straight. It was the ski-filmer who sat in the Heli so he should be the one getting props for that.
OB: Well props to him for sure. And to Torstein. The intro to his part is rad by the way.
PF: Torstein filmed like 97% of his part there in a week after breaking his back earlier in the winter…
OB: No way! That guy is a machine.
PF: He is. I filmed yesterday with him, got a bunch of stuff, and could get even more if the snowstorm didn’t come... (Norway is waay better then Europe in every kind of way, hehe)
OB: But I think it's fair to say that Torstein's been getting quite a bit of props even though he's pretty much a rookie still. On the other hand you open the film with Eiki Helgason, who we reckon has an equally sick part.
PF: Yeah he has for sure. And he was also out for 3 months this season as he talks about in his part...
OB: Bloody hell. How did you hook up with the Icelander?
PF: They are going to a snowboard school in Sweden, and Kareem El-Rafie told me about these sick Icelanders that I should check out, I watched some footage of Eiki and I knew that I needed to have him in the movie. A funny thing is that like 2 years ago i watched his brother Halldor, and then he did like 50-50s and nosepresses and was like a good snowboarder too, but now he is almost in the same level as Eiki. And then you have Gulli, Mr. Switch. Well there is a lot to say about the Icelanders.. but I’m gonna stop now. [laughs].
OB: Ha! Yeah. So Kareem is like your scout or what?
PF: Hehe, yeah.
OB: What was the deal with the pool session with Kareem and the others? He nearly got squashed by that locker, eh?
PF: He almost did… My good friend Jonny (that has the 3rd part in the movie) called me and told me that he had found a old hotel with a swimming pool, so I went up there (he lives 2 ours from Oslo), and it was sick. I called Kareem and said, "Dude, get on the first plane over here", and he did and we got some cool stuff. It was such as mission getting all that snow in there...
OB: So, aside from a ghetto pool, Stryn and the 10-kink Rail of Death in Iceland (sorry, was that in Iceland?), where else did you end up filming for Up in the Sky?
PF: Yes that was Icelend, and this year that rail is going dooown! We filmed a bunch in Oslo and in Northern Norway, where I’m from. I just tried to be creative with locations and it ended up pretty good, except for me drowning my snowmobile on the 1st day and then you had 3 completely wet snowboarders walking down from a huge mountain in -10 degrees with all wet clothes…
OB: Bet that was fun. Talking of fun, how the hell did Pingu get a part? Did Kareem spot him?
PF: [laughs] No, I’m just into penguins. I think they are pretty similar to the Icelanders, I’m not kidding. I recently bought a Pingu DVD for my sister’s kid for Christmas so that he can start representing.
OB: That was pretty funny. "It's Torstein's pro model, bitch!"
PF: The movie got edited in like two weeks and somewhere that idea popped up some late night.
OB: So how have the premiere's been going? Any more coming up?
PF: Been going good. The world premiere in Oslo got a bit too good, like more then a 1000 people and total madness. I got like bills for destruction (or what is called when people break things?) for 3-4 times the budget of the entire movie, hehe..
OB: Well, we wouldn’t be snowboarders without a little bit of carnage from time to time…
PF: That’s true. And you can’t put a price on FUN [laughs].
OB: Indeed. Are there any more coming up? Well, hopefully without so much destruction that you have to pay for...
PF: Erm, I think at least a couple in Iceland, we’ve been having a bunch and had one 2 days ago, I’m pretty over it too and want to start on a new season.
OB: Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that. Have you started on stuff for next season yet? You mentioned filming with Torstein the other day...
PF: Yeah we have filmed some, but we have to deal with sponsors and everything first before we can start 24/7. And decide on all riders etc. I guess we’ll start full on in like two weeks. Probably won’t have everything settled then but can’t wait too long before starting filming either.
OB: Cool. Do you have plans for anything in particular you can let us know about? Apart from nailing the 10-kink Rail of Death, of course…
PF: At least bring in some US riders, get a bit more "international" and not just "European"... and I have been sending "learn these tricks-lists" to the Icelanders so they are working fulltime in the park to learn them now [laughs].
OB: Perfect. Well, good luck with the business side of things and hope you have a good winter shooting. Crack the whip with the Icelanders and I'm sure they'll be switch back lip 270 out-ing the 10 kinker before you know it. Thanks for your time Petter, and thanks for the film!
PF: Yeah, thanks. Hey, I showed that last thing you wrote to the Icelanders. Here are their comments:
“Gulli sier: hehe ye thats true! hehehe thats so true that he is saying there hehe 15:32
Eiki H sier: Hehehehe"
So I guess Gulli is the one up for it while Eiki will be watching and laughing...
OB: Haha. Go Gulli!